19 Things I've Done in 2019
I said on my 22nd birthday, at the beginning of last year that ‘2019 was my year’ I had grand plans of starting a blog of some sorts, for a reason I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
Now, I realise it’s because I want to put my thoughts and opinions out into the world, in a positive way, and try and influence people’s lives and thoughts about themselves and their bodies in a similar manner. And, when I said it was my year, I meant it.
I owned it this year.
2018 was awful for me- a massive break up and heartbreak, finishing a course at uni that I didn’t really enjoy to go into a retail job I really didn’t enjoy, with nothing on the horizon job-wise.
And this past year has been the complete opposite. So, here we go! All the things I'm proud of in 2019.
1. Become an actual real-life stylist
Yes, on the 6th of January 2019 I walked into my work to start off my career. Since then, I've attended the London College of Style multiple times in order to become fully qualified, learnt off of my colleagues by shadowing and then started doing appointments by myself. Now, I'm a fully qualified, experienced stylist with my own profile online! This year has been one big learning curve professionally for me, and I can't wait to see where it takes me in the future.
2. Started this baby
Possibly my bestest achievement (yes I know this isn't a real word...), early March 2019 I suffered a heartbreak and a day of pain, but used that pain to kick-start a plan I'd had in my head for a while. In January, I purchased this domain and set up a Wix account, created my empty Instagram account and official gmail.
But, I kept on putting it off and off until one day, disaster struck. I cried my eyes out on a bus from Central London to West, but by the time I got home, my eyes were dry but puffy and I was full of determination to be a better person and do something only for me.
So, I uploaded my very first blog post. And it went from there. And now, I have this entire space on the web for my thoughts, my style and my opinions. It's fantastic, and my love for my baby as I call it, and my writing, grows every day. It's a great way to funnel energy, both positive and negative, into tangible pieces of work. It gives me such pride that this is my space, and my blog.
3. Gotten into a very successful relationship (and out of two not so successful ones)
So, disclaimer here. The heartbreak I was talking about above, was the end of a very toxic relationship that had been dragged on unnecessarily for over 2 years (by both parties). Then, I got into another one pretty much straight away, not for the right reasons. I wanted to distract myself from the pain I was feeling and prove that I could be loved (which is not what I was feeling at the time). Then, when that relationship, which was pretty much doomed from the start, didn't pan out, I decided to take some time out to focus on me, my blog, my friends and my job.
But, when I downloaded tinder drunk one night for a bit of fun (don't judge me, girls got needs), I matched with this really cool guy with an interest in photography, vintage jumpers and cardigans. He had long brown hair like mine, and did illustration. And soon, we were Facetiming and phoning each other for 3+ hours a day. It actually took 6 weeks for us to meet irl, due to holidays and distance, but once we did, the rest is history. That's always the way though- when you least expect it/want it, it arrives. I wasn't looking for a relationship but the best person I know walked into my life. We now live together and yes, I know it's fast, but when it works, it works. And when you know, you know. Love you, P.
4. Gotten in touch with old friends
Growing up abroad means I have dozens of friends from school and life throughout the ages that I've left, scattered across the globe. But, this year has been the year of re-connections with the friends that really matter and I'm so happy to say it's like we've only been gone for a day, not 5 years.
5. And cemented current friendships
I went into this year wanting to spend more time with my best friends, because, you know, they are your best friends. These are the kinda people I want to be around! And, I have done so. Despite the gang of 4 of us living in different areas of London, working different hours and committed to different things, we see each other very frequently and go away on holiday together as well! And yes, the group chat is lit.
6. Mastered skincare
Prior to this year, I would've laughed if you said I would be using a 5-6 step skincare routine twice a day. The most I used before, when I remembered, was a cleanser I bought from Sainsburys in 2016. Yes, I used it for 2 years +. No, I am not proud of this, but thanks to advice from friends and colleagues at work, I now look after myself. You can see my current routine here.
7. Done a pretty good job at eating and living well
So, we're all susceptible to a drunken MacDonalds now and then. And that's fine, as long as it is on occasion. I try to eat really well, and eat vegan whenever I can. Now, that doesn't mean I eat plant-based at every meal I eat, or if I go out I'll only eat plant-based. When I'm cooking for myself, most of the time it's vegan, but I don't beat myself up if I fancy something with eggs or a bit of meat in. The way I look at it is, every single meal or choice I make that's plant-based, is one little bit of good for the planet and animals.
8. Struggled with my anxiety and made it through the other end okay and better for it
You can see my blog post on anxiety here. In it, I talk about how I've struggled with it for such a long time, and this year is no different. I highly doubt there will be a time in my life where I won't struggle with it, but I'm learning to cope, through understanding what my triggers are and different ways to calm myself down again. It's all about the personal journey of learning how to cope with it.
9. Spent a lot of time with family
With my family living abroad, it's so hard to see them. Every 4-6 months they will come over for a visit and I'll have to put my whole life on hold to see them as often as I can, often spending 4 hours a day on public transport to do so. I'm not complaining, it's worth it, but it is hard work. That being said though, this year I saw them a lot more than I have done so in the past, and it's been great.
10. My sense of style has improved infinitely (and continues to improve everyday)
I guess it had too, being a stylist, but my style in 2018 was a lot more mis-matched than it is now. I've been learning by example (shout out to Debbie and Danielle, the two best stylists in the world), and I get inspiration everywhere from fellow bloggers to books and film and tv and so much more!
11. Had a hair glow-up
Christ. My natural hair is messy. It's curly, untameable, frizzy, thick. It's impossible to look after. Now, though, I look after it. I use a hair mask every time I wash it, which has minimised the frizz. I straighten it too- not poker straight, but enough to calm the waves. Overall, it's a lot healthier and appearance wise, it's been giving me a big confidence boost.
12. Re-Learnt to knit
So I may have just done this in the last week of 2019, but it still counts!
My sister-in-law re-taught me and I'm so happy she did- it's such a peaceful way to unwind and watch the TV with.
13. Began using writing as a kind of therapy
This links to my point no. 3, which is how my blog is my space to write, create and share. I pour all of my emotions and energies, positive and negative, into creating something worthwhile. Something that's entirely me. And I love it.
14. Binged some pretty great TV shows
This has certainly been the year of the TV. From El Camino the movie on Netflix, to Game of Thrones finishing, to the amazing Gavin & Stacey Christmas special, there's been some great hits. My personal faves have been Black Mirror, Fleabag, Russian Doll, Chernobyl, When They See Us, Killing Eve, Stranger Things, The Good Place and Inside Number Nine.
15. Been in a pretty bad spot financially, but leaving this year on a mediocre high
What a year for money. Overdraft central over here. Learning how to budget, how to NOT blow all your money at the start of the month, how to cope with transport costs, have all been central to my financial learning curve of the year. Yes, I'm still learning. Yes I'm still in overdraft. Although, I have started to save small amounts and now have a Help to Buy ISA. So, it's not all horrible.
16. Mastered the commute
Client, in East London: Oh, so where do you live?
Me: (laughs nervously) Actually, I live in West London!
Client: But that's so far! How do you commute?
Yes, in pretty much every appointment of mine, the small talk commences with living locations, something which is socially acceptable as a conversation starter in London. And yes, I live in one side of the city and work on the other. It's hard work, but luckily it's only one train line all the way. I spend this time productively, listening to podcasts or writing. Check out this older blog post where I talk about my fave things to do on my commute.
17. Become a podcast addict
On the back of the last point, I LOVE podcasts. I love them so much, I listen to them at least twice daily. They're informative, funny and you can learn so much. My cousin is learning a new language when she drives. Myself, being a bit of a true crime addict, prefers classics like Last Podcast on the Left, Broken and In Your Own Backyard. See my older post here on my favourite podcasts.
18. Hosted a fashion show at work I was the lead on!
Yes, one of my biggest achievements was a fantastic opportunity at work where I was asked to lead, by my manager, the organisation of the fashion show we do annually. It was a great group effort and I even presented it! There was a massive crowd who had a great time, and even an opera interlude! I'm very proud of the team I work with, and proud of myself, for what we pulled off.
19. Loved myself a little bit more
The hardest thing to do, by far. But, with every day of appreciating what I write, or draw, everyday of liking what I wear and how it looks, everyday of being proud of my achievements and not just putting myself down over every slight thing I've done wrong, I'm learning to love myself more and more.